Embracing the van life is not just about the freedom of the open road, but also about the community you build along the way. At The Van Conversion Guide, we’ve seen countless individuals transform their lives through van life, and a significant part of that transformation comes from the connections made with fellow van lifers. In this guide, we’ll delve into the various ways you can find and foster these connections, ensuring your van life journey is as enriching as it is adventurous.

Leveraging Social Media

Social media has revolutionized the way we connect with others, and for van lifers, it’s no different. These platforms offer a plethora of opportunities to meet, interact, and even plan meetups with fellow enthusiasts.

Facebook: The Community Builder

Facebook is home to numerous van life groups, each catering to different interests and regions. By joining these groups, you can:

  • Engage in discussions about van life challenges and joys.
  • Ask questions and share your own experiences.
  • Plan and learn about upcoming meetups or events.

For instance, solo female van lifers often find community in dedicated Facebook groups where they can share safety tips, travel recommendations, and more. Bearfoot Theory mentions several such groups that have proven invaluable to many.

Instagram: Connect Through Stories

Instagram is not just for sharing picturesque sunset photos from your latest spot. It’s a platform where many van lifers share their day-to-day experiences, build their brand, and connect with followers and fellow van lifers. Tips for using Instagram effectively:

  • Engage with Van Life Hashtags: Such as #VanLife, #VanLifeDiaries, and #HomeIsWhereYouParkIt.
  • Reach Out: Don’t be shy to slide into the DMs of someone whose journey resonates with yours.
  • Share Authentically: The more genuine you are, the more genuine connections you’ll make.

Using Dedicated Apps and Platforms

While social media is a great starting point, there are platforms specifically designed for van lifers that offer more tailored tools and resources.

Sēkr App: The Van Lifer’s Digital Compass

Formerly known as The Van Life App, Sēkr is a dedicated platform where you can:

  • Find upcoming van life meetups and gatherings.
  • Send friend requests based on shared interests.
  • View caravan invitations and other opportunities to connect.

Kift: A Community-Run Project

Kift offers van lifers a unique way to live and work without sacrificing the comforts of home. Members have access to:

  • Community houses with coworking spaces.
  • Essential amenities like fast wifi, hot showers, and laundry facilities.
  • A setting to park their vans in beautiful locations.

Attending Van Gatherings and Events

Nothing beats the experience of meeting fellow van lifers in person. These gatherings are a melting pot of experiences, stories, and tips shared around campfires.

Why Attend a Gathering?

  • Instant Community: Everyone at the gathering already has a shared interest, making it easy to connect.
  • Van Tours: Get a peek into how others have converted their vans, and gather ideas for your own.
  • Workshops and Activities: Many gatherings, like the Open Roads Fest, offer workshops on van life essentials, along with fun activities.
Popular Van Gatherings Highlights
Open Roads Fest Workshops, mountain biking, paddle boarding, live music.
Descend on Bend A popular gathering with a mix of activities.
Rubber Tramp Rendezvous A must-attend for new and seasoned van lifers.


Engaging in Local Activities and Workspaces

While on the road, there are numerous everyday opportunities to meet both locals and fellow travelers.

Visit Friends and Family

One of the perks of van life is the ability to visit loved ones without the constraints of vacation days. Use your van to:

  • Reconnect with old friends.
  • Strengthen existing relationships.
  • Build new connections with friends of friends.

Workspaces: More Than Just Work

Whether you’re a digital nomad or just someone catching up on emails, public workspaces offer more than just wifi. They’re a hub for:

  • Meeting locals and other travelers.
  • Learning about local events and activities.
  • Sharing and receiving recommendations.

Deepening Connections on the Road

The journey of van life is as much about the people you meet as the places you visit. While the open road offers endless vistas and adventures, it’s the connections you make along the way that truly enrich the experience. Let’s explore some avenues to deepen these connections.

Visiting Friends and Family

One of the most rewarding aspects of van life is the ability to reconnect with loved ones. Your mobile home allows you to:

  • Drop by old friends and reminisce about shared memories.
  • Celebrate special occasions with family without the constraints of hotel bookings or flight schedules.
  • Introduce your van life to friends and family, perhaps inspiring them to embark on their own adventures.

Popular Van Life Destinations: More than Just Scenery

Certain destinations are hotspots for van lifers, not just for their scenic beauty, but for the community they foster.

Destination Highlights Best Time to Visit
Joshua Tree, CA Stunning landscapes, popular for van life meetups Fall and Spring
Moab, UT Adventure sports, van life gatherings Spring and Fall
Baja, Mexico Beaches, surf spots, and van life communities Winter

By visiting these destinations, you can:

  • Engage with fellow van lifers in trailhead parking lots or popular camping spots.
  • Share tips, routes, and experiences.
  • Participate in impromptu meetups or gatherings.

Engaging with Van Owner Communities

Beyond the general van life community, there are specific communities centered around particular van models or conversion companies. These communities often:

  • Share specific tips and hacks tailored to particular van models.
  • Organize meetups and events for owners.
  • Offer a platform to discuss van-specific challenges and solutions.

For instance, Bearfoot Theory mentions how some van conversion companies foster tight-knit communities, enhancing the overall van life experience.


The journey of van life comes with its own set of questions. Here, we address some of the most frequently asked ones:

Social media platforms, dedicated apps like Sēkr, attending van life gatherings, and visiting popular van life destinations are all excellent ways to meet fellow van lifers.

Yes, apps like Sēkr are specifically designed for van lifers to connect, find meetups, and share experiences.

Some of the popular gatherings include Open Roads Fest, Descend on Bend, and Rubber Tramp Rendezvous.

Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram offer groups, hashtags, and communities where van lifers can connect, share their stories, and plan meetups.